Some ten years since the release of their last studio recordings, legendary UK punks The Damned return with a new album, Evil Spirits, due for release on 13 April through on Search And Destroy/Spinefarm Records. The album is preceded by new single ‘Standing On The Edge Of Tomorrow’, which streams online today ahead of the band’s forthcoming Evil Spirits UK tour starting on 26 January.
Propelled by an enormously successful PledgeMusic funding campaign, The Damned headed to Atomic Sound Studios in Brooklyn in early October 2017 and began a frantic, high-energy, nine day burst of creativity with famed producer Tony Visconti, whose list of past working-relationships reads like a who’s who of popular music. (David Bowie, T Rex, Morrissey, U2, The Stranglers, Iggy Pop and Thin Lizzy to name but a few!.) Reunited with former bassist Paul Gray (who played on classics The Black Album and Strawberries in the early eighties), the renewed line up took full advantage of the studio’s classic Neve recording desk, valve gear and vintage equipment to form the new record.
“We deliberately recorded the album retro style,” explains guitarist Captain Sensible. “The same way our debut album was made, basically. There’s something wonderful about the seventies sounds; glam, rock and punk records, they all sound so great and Tony specialises in beautifully crafted old school production. He had us all playing live, bashing it out in the same room with a focus on getting the initial band version of each song as close as possible to the finished thing. “
The first taste of ‘Evil Spirits’ comes in the form of ‘Standing On The Edge Of Tomorrow’, a song penned by frontman Dave Vanian.
“It’s supposed to be very optimistic, even though it’s about a dark subject,” states Vanian. “As an artist, you can’t help but reflect the times, because that’s what art does. I think we always do it, but in a slightly different way. So a song like ‘Standing…’ may seem quite joyous and uplifting musically, but some of the lyrics might be about quite dark things. That’s what I’d like to think this album is – an uplifting album, not a moaning old album – not ‘this is terrible, and that’s terrible’, and then not offering any answers. It’s more a case of, ‘If we get it together, maybe we could change things a bit’.
Formed in 1976 at the forefront of the fledgling London punk scene, The Damned kick-started the birth of punk as we know it, leaving an influential legacy for generations to come. Their musical journey has seen the quintet intent on moving forward, courageously exploring sights and sounds way beyond their brash wide-eyed beginnings - and they’re back to do it all over again.
In support of their new album, The Damned set off on a 17-date UK tour. This kicks off on 26 January at the O2 Academy, Newcastle and concludes with a show at London’s O2 Forum on 17 February.
Evil Spirits will be released on 13 April. Scroll down to read the full tracklisting and pre-order it here.